High-Speed Video: PFV4 Features and Functions

Capturing high-speed video comes with its own set of challenges, like anything else! Fortunately, there’s Photron’s intuitive and powerful Photron Fastcam Viewer 4 (PFV4) software to assist you in the process. PFV4 continues to add new features that will take your project to the next level.

Let us walk through a few of the new features as an introduction:

Focus Assist

When capturing high speed video, achieving crisp focus on your subject is critical to successful research and analysis. Photron Fastcam Viewer 4, (PFV4) includes a Focus Assistance tool that provides users with the ability to achieve the desired focus for their images in an extremely user-friendly interface. PFV4 uses a unique algorithm to calculate the “edge strength” of the objects within the Field of View, (FOV) and assigns varying colors to visually define that strength. The brighter colors represent the edges that are in sharper focus, while the darker colors represent edges that are less focused.

The above (2) images are displayed in PFV4 utilizing the Focus Assistance tool. The bright lines outlining the figure in the left image indicate a strong edge detection which provides the desired focus. The image on the right shows darker lines to indicate an image that is out of focus.

These (2) images are the result of using the Focus Assistance tool to achieve proper focus on the subject. Notice the crisp focus on the left image while the image on the right is slightly blurred.

Image Overlay

Test to test consistency is critical in collecting reliable and repeatable data for many applications. With the Image Overlay function in PFV4, users now have a means of maintaining a consistent setup from one experiment to another.

Image Overlay allows the display of a LIVE image on the same screen as a Saved image captured during a previous experiment. By adjusting the opacity of the LIVE image, the user can confirm whether or not the position the subject matches the setup from the previous test. If not, adjustments can be made to the subject or the camera position as needed.

Figure 1

Figure 2

The image in Figure 1 is from a LIVE view of a desk fan within PFV4. The image in Figure 2 shows the LIVE image of the same desk fan and a SAVED image (slightly fainter and to the left) from a previous recording. Because users have the ability to change the opacity of the LIVE and SAVED images, they are able to make adjustments as required to assure that positioning remains consistent between tests.

SAVE/Load Camera Control Settings  

The user-friendly PFV4 camera control interface provides quick and intuitive setup of your high-speed camera, even of the most complex recording scenarios. With the Save/Load Camera Control Settings in PFV4, users are able to quickly and easily create commonly used recording configurations that are readily available for all users. ALL of the settings in the software that have been modified are saved in these profiles to eliminate potentially costly mistakes while reducing downtime.

By creating user or application-specific recording “templates”, PFV4 allows you to spend your time running experiments rather than making multiple settings adjustments in software prior to capturing a high-speed video sequence.

You can also use this tool to create your own “Default” settings for the camera when it is booted up for use.

SAVE Camera Control Settings Dialog

LOAD Camera Control Settings Dialog

These features are just a few of many that PFV4 has to offer, but we feel that they’re a great introduction to the program. Remember that mastering high-speed video tools takes practice, and learning about the latest in features will help you get there!

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